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Prius V

Prius V interior

Prius C
After selling over one million Prius vehicles, Toyota expands the line

The hybrid that everyone loves to hate is getting a companion model. While the Prius MPV has been rumored for quite some time, Toyota only recently began to drop hints that the larger model was on the way. Today, however, Toyota made it official.

The current Prius started out as a sedan, but transitioned to a hatchback in its second generation. The new model, the Prius V (the “V” stands for versatility), brings a bit more utility to the Prius platform with a more upright rear hatch and a higher roof for 50 percent greater cargo volume.

“This is no ordinary family.  It’s a modern family with a Prius for everyone,” said Bob Carter, Toyota Division group vice president and general manager.  “The Prius v is an all-new dedicated hybrid vehicle, and all future Prius family members will be as well.  They will all share common Prius attributes but will be unique, with a special appeal to different buyers.”

When it comes to the powertrain, there aren't any surprises. The Prius V still uses the same 1.8-liter gasoline engine found in its smaller sibling along with the same Synergy Hybrid Drive.

Fuel economy for Toyota’s latest hybrid gets an impressive 42 mpg in the city, and 38 mpg on the highway (40 mpg combined). For comparison, the standard Prius is rated at 51/48 (50 mpg combined).

The Prius MPV will be going toe-to-toe with Ford’s new C-MAX Hybrid. Ford hasn’t released official EPA numbers for the vehicle yet, but the company does say that it will get better fuel economy than the Fusion Hybrid that is rated at 42/36. So it’s highly likely that Ford’s hybrid will get even better fuel economy than the Prius V.

The Prius V will be available to purchase later this summer.

Toyota also unveiled a Prius C, a vehicle that is smaller than the standard hatchback. It is aimed at young adults and will get better fuel economy than the current's Prius' already impressive 50 mpg combined. The vehicle will debut in production form around this time next year.

If the Prius C looks familiar to you, it's because Toyota debuted a similar hybrid concept, the FT-CH, last year at the Detroit Auto Show. The Prius C is a further refinement of that design.

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RE: Why no Diesel in North America?
By Galcobar on 1/11/2011 6:24:03 AM , Rating: 1
Keep in mind that a gallon of diesel fuel is not the same, in terms of energy contained, as a gallon of gasoline.

As a heavier fuel diesel is, for lack of a better word, more energy dense. Comparing it directly to gasoline is somewhat akin to comparing the output of two batteries with different voltages.

Prejudice against diesels in North America was created by GM, which basically retrofit gasoline engines to run diesel in the 1970s and produced historically unreliable cars which tended to have cracked blocks and damaged crankshafts. Dirty diesel -- particularly because of the visibility of its exhaust -- cemented the dislike.

Actually, particulate matter is still a concern with diesel, precisely because it is a less-processed, heavier fuel than gasoline.

By mellomonk on 1/11/2011 9:03:06 AM , Rating: 3
Besides GM's 70s diesels tainting public opinion, there are other factors as well. The high sulfur content of the North American fuel up until the recent years low-sulfur mandate was a major hindrance to emissions compliance. Even with the low sulfur fuel, California emissions compliance requires lots of expensive tech, ie. urea injection, particulate filtration. And will get increasingly tough in the future. The CA emissions are now used as a template for several other states as well. Another factor is that at our lower US fuel prices the difference in petrol vs. diesel makes it often a wash when you factor in higher initial prices and maintenance costs.

But there is still hope that diesel passenger cars could catch on more here. Fuel prices are bound to rise in the coming years as China, India and the rest of the rapidly developing nations use more and more oil. The CAFE standards are set to rise and could lead to more adoption, especially if small displacement diesels are offered in trucks, SUVs and crossovers. We need more than VW, Audi, and Mercedes to champion diesel here. Hopefully Fiat's influence over Chrysler will bring more clean diesels to our shores.

By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 1/11/2011 1:19:06 PM , Rating: 2
Plus the nasty urea requirements. Who wants to fill their car with pee as well as fuel?


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